A Block IIRM GPS satellite
Mission typeNavigation
OperatorUS Air Force
COSPAR ID2009-014A[1]
SATCAT no.34661[1]
Mission duration10 years (planned)
Never entered service
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeGPS Block IIRM[2]
ManufacturerLockheed Martin[2]
Launch mass2,032 kilograms (4,480 lb)[2]
Start of mission
Launch date24 March 2009, 08:34 (2009-03-24UTC08:34Z) UTC
RocketDelta II 7925-9.5, D340[3]
Launch siteCape Canaveral SLC-17A[3]
End of mission
Deactivated6 May 2011 (2011-05-07)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeMedium Earth
Perigee altitude20,045 kilometres (12,455 mi)[4]
Apogee altitude20,335 kilometres (12,636 mi)[4]
Inclination55.8 degrees[4]
Period718 minutes[4]

USA-203, also known as GPS IIR-20(M), GPS IIRM-7 and GPS SVN-49, is an American navigation satellite which was intended to become part of the Global Positioning System. It was the sixth of seven Block IIRM satellites to be launched, and the twentieth of twenty one Block IIR satellites overall. It was built by Lockheed Martin, using the AS-4000 satellite bus, and had a mass of 2,032 kilograms (4,480 lb).[2]

USA-203 was launched at 08:34 UTC on 24 March 2009, atop a Delta II carrier rocket, flight number D340, flying in the 7925-9.5 configuration.[3] The launch took place from Space Launch Complex 17A at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,[5] and placed USA-203 into a transfer orbit. The satellite raised itself into medium Earth orbit using a Star-37FM apogee motor.[2]

USA-203 is located in an orbit with a perigee of 20,045 kilometres (12,455 mi), an apogee of 20,335 kilometres (12,636 mi), a period of 718 minutes, and 55.8 degrees of inclination to the equator.[4] It was intended to operate in slot 2 of plane B of the GPS constellation, replacing USA-128,[6] and to broadcast signal PRN-01.[7] During on-orbit testing an anomaly was discovered with the signals it was broadcasting, which prevented its operational use. It was decommissioned on 6 May 2011, two years into its ten-year design life.

In addition to its operational navigation signals, USA-203 was also equipped to broadcast a demonstration of the L5 signal which would be introduced with the GPS Block IIF series. The satellite was able to broadcast this signal correctly, but it was discovered that a filter used to produce the L5 signal was causing the disruption to its other frequencies.[7]

Launch of USA-203
Launch of USA-203


  1. ^ a b "Navstar 63". US National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Krebs, Gunter. "GPS-2RM (Navstar-2RM)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b c McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e "NAVSTAR 63 (USA 203)". n2yo. Archived from the original on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  5. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch List". Launch Vehicle Database. Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  6. ^ Ray, Justin (24 March 2009). "Delta 2 rocket delivers another GPS satellite to orbit". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  7. ^ a b Goldstein, David. "Request for Feedback on GPS IIR-20 (SVN-49) Mitigation Options" (PDF). US Air Force. Retrieved 11 July 2012.